We recently reported that a new Aprilia motorcycle was spied testing near Piaggio’s plant at Baramati, and were also the first to reveal that this was likely a brand new bike called the RS 440. Autocar Professional, our sister publication, now reports that the Italian premium bike major is entering the highly active Indian midsize motorcycle market with the Aprilia brand in the second half of 2023, as part of its plan to revamp and reinforce its two-wheeler business in the country.
- First Aprilia motorcycle to feature locally made components
- Will rival the KTM RC 390, Ninja 300 & 400
- India will likely became an export base for the RS 440
Aprilia RS 440: India launch, details
Designed and developed for emerging markets, India is going to be amongst the key manufacturing bases where this model will be locally manufactured apart from China, Vietnam and Indonesia for Aprilia motorcycles.
The motorbike is likely to be launched in September, just ahead of the first ever MotoGP race in India – where Aprilia will be a key participant in the event. Developed with critical inputs from the Indian market, the sports bike is expected to be locally made in the company's factory in Baramati.
According to people in the know, the midsize motorcycle is internally called Aprilia RS 440 and it will take on the likes of KTM RC 390 and the Kawasaki Ninja 300/400 in a highly competitive midsize motorcycle segment. The start of production for the model is planned in September and the company hopes to sell between 10,000-15,000 units in a year, said sources. Click here to read more about what to expect from this Aprilia motorcycle.
Piaggio India has worked with the R&D centres in Italy, India, Vietnam, Indonesia and China to develop this new motorcycle. While the immediate priority is to cater to the Indian market, Piaggio is likely to use India as a base to export this midsize bike.
Diego Graffi, CMD of Piaggio Vehicles Pvt Ltd (PVPL), a 100 percent subsidiary of the Italian Piaggio Group, told Autocar Professional that the company is looking to refresh and reinforce its position in the Indian two wheeler market over the next decade by launching new vehicles and entering new segments, including motorcycles.
"We will have some new products coming up in the two-wheeler space in the immediate term. We are going to refresh and enforce the performance of our Aprilia scooter to recreate the gap that we had with competitors when we started with Aprilia few years ago, and plus, we are looking at new segments coming forward because we feel that now, it's time that two-wheeler markets also get some sort of segmentation."
"So, the new philosophy of the group is to have a global approach with these kinds of products. So, it means that local production will most likely be something that will happen, along with production somewhere in the world. And then we will decide whether to export or not depending on the needs of the local market," the top Piaggio official said.